Hepatitis B in the Headlines

Below is a snapshot of the latest news from communities across the country, and some hepatitis B news that is attracting national attention.

Our campaign partners are working to raise awareness and testing for hepatitis B on an ongoing basis by holding free community screenings, educational events and public awareness campaigns. We also work with policymakers around the country to advocate for public health policies that increase hepatitis B testing, vaccination and care – particularly among Asian American communities.

Hep B United Applauds CMS Final Decision to Cover Screening for Hepatitis B Infection

Doylestown, PA – Hep B United applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final decision to cover screening for hepatitis B infection at no cost to individuals entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A or enrolled in Medicare Part B. The CMS decision states that a screening test is covered for individuals who are determined high risk for hepatitis B as identified by a primary care provider in a primary care setting. Read more.

HBU Press Release: New Report on Eliminating Viral Hepatitis in the U.S. Confirms Urgent Need for Increased Resources

Washington, DC- The report identifies critical factors towards ending transmission of hepatitis B and reducing the morbidity and mortality attributable to ongoing infection, both goals the committee concluded are either highly feasible or feasible. This report is the first of a two-phase study; the second report, to be released in 2017, will outline a strategy for meeting the goals discussed in this report. Read more.

Hep B United: Congressional Spending Bill Inadequately Invests in Viral Hepatitis

WASHINGTON, DC – This week Congress unveiled an Omnibus Spending Bill to fund the federal government through the 2016 fiscal year. The legislation, headed for votes this week, funds the Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at $34 million, a $2.7 million increase over the current funding level. Read more.

CDC HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Infections, & Turberculosis Tequests $1.162 Bilion for President’s FY16 Budget

CDC – HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Infections, & Turberculosis requests $1.162 Bilion for FY 2016 President’s Budget to decrease incidence of infections, morbidity and mortality, and health disparities across groups affected by HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs and TB. Read more.

CDC Viral Hepatitis Detection, Monitoring, and Prevention Requests $62.8 Million for President’s FY16 Budget to Address Viral Hepatitis

CDC – Viral Hepatitis Detection, Monitoring, and Prevention requests $62.8 Million for FY 2016 President’s Budget in order to expand viral hepatitis detection, monitoring, and prevention programs to stop transmission and prevent related illness and death. Read more.

Patient Advocate Foundation Announces New Co-Payment Assistance Fund for Hepatitis B Patients

Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) announced the addition of a new assistance fund to their Co-Pay Relief program dedicated to assisting insured Hepatitis B patients with out of pocket pharmaceutical expenses. Approved patients will receive up to $4,000 in assistance per year, representing groundbreaking financial relief for Hepatitis B patients. Read more.

Hep B United Releases 2014-16 Strategic Plan

Hep B United releases their second strategic plan to address hepatitis B in API populations across the United States. The community strategic plan responds to strategic priority areas established at the national level and coordinates activities of Hep B United member coalitions. Read more.

Hep B United Releases Analysis of HHS’s Updated National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan

Hep B United released their second blueprint report entitled Opportunities for Federal-Community Collaboration to Reduce Disparities in Hepatitis B: 2014-2016, to coincide with HHS’s Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis: 2014-2016. This report highlights areas in which HBU coalitions and partners can work with HHS agencies to help combat the silent epidemic of hepatitis B. View the report here.

Dr. Koh Leaves Position at the Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Koh announced that he will be leaving his position at DHHS to assume a new position as Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. Read Hep B United’s Appreciation Statement for his dedication in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health, especially to improving the health of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

USPSTF Final Recs

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released their final recommendations for hepatitis B screening in persons at high risk for infection. View the recommendation here.

Secretary Sebelius’ Statement on AAPI Month

Secretary Sebelius releases a statement in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Read the full press release here.

HBU Summit: May 2014

Hep B United will hold their second summit from May 21st – 23rd, 2014. The three-day event will focus on reviewing successes and challenges to date, strategizing on the future of Hep B United in alignment with the new Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, and educating policymakers on priorities to address hepatitis B in at-risk communities.

Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (2014-2016)

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the updated Action Plan for Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis. Read all the updates here.

Hep B Screening Receives a “B” Grade by USPSTF

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force issues a grade “B” recommendation for hepatitis B screening in high risk populations. Click here to read more.

Presidential Proclamation

President Barack Obama signs a proclamation regarding World Hepatitis Day (July 28th, 2013). View the proclamation here.

CDC Viral Hepatitis Updates

HHS releases new  Public Health Service Guideline to reduce disease transmission through organ transplantation. Click to view the full press release.

This guideline supercedes the 1994 U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus through Transplantation of Human Tissue and Organs.

Also, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in persons at high risk for infection. The USPSTF also recommends offering one-time screening for HCV infection to adults born between 1945 and 1965. Grade: B Recommendation. View the recommendations below.

Recommendation Statement
Clinical Summary
Consumer Fact Sheet

Hep B United Strategic Plan and Analysis

Today, Hep B United released their hepatitis B Strategic Plan and Analysis during the CDC Know Hepatitis B Campaign Launch and Hep B United Event! The Strategic Plan and Analysis can be found below.

Hep B United Strategic Plan and Analysis

Hep B United Champions

During the CDC Know Hepatitis Campaign Launch and Hep B United Event, five champions were honored for their exceptional leadership & dedication in addressing the issues of Hepatitis B amongst AAPI populations. They are the first of their kind and will forever be remembered for their significant contributions in the hepatitis B community. Read more about the Champions below!

Dr. Howard Koh
Cynthia Jorgensen
Karen Jiobu
Aurora Wong
North East Medical Services


Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Dr. Koh has provided exceptional national leadership to advance the science and medicine of hepatitis B. In spearheading the first-ever HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan published in May 2011, Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, he has truly made hepatitis B a national health priority and gives hope that it could be eliminated within our lifetime. As Assistant Secretary for Health of HHS, Dr. Koh oversees 14 core public health offices — including the Office of the Surgeon General and the US Public Health Service Corps — as well as 10 regional health offices across the nation and 10 Presidential and Secretarial advisory committees. He is dedicated to the mission of creating better public health systems for prevention and care so that all Americans can reach their highest attainable standard of health.


Cynthia Jorgensen, DrPh, Team Leader in Education and Training, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Viral Hepatitis

Dr. Jorgensen, Team Leader in Education and Training in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is leading the effort to implement the CDC’s first national hepatitis B campaign — “Know Hepatitis B” – to reduce the burden of hepatitis B in the U.S., particularly in high-risk Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. As a highly accomplished behavioral scientist, adjunct professor at Emory University, and Past President of the Society for Health Education (SOPHE), she uses applied research to design and implement successful national health communication campaigns, Dr. Jorgensen was instrumental in leading very successful CDC campaigns to promote colon cancer screening and skin cancer prevention. Today, she is bringing her formidable talents, experience and leadership to the problem of hepatitis B, which is good news to all those who care about and are affected by this serious liver disease.


Ms. Karen Jiobu, Asian American Community Services and the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition

Ms. Jiobu is passionate about hepatitis B issues and has been instrumental in providing screening and education activities in the Asian community of Central Ohio with impact for the whole state. She has been the Lead Regional Coordinator of the Health through Action Grant for the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition (OAAHC) from 2008 through 2011, which was funded by the APIAHF and the Kellogg Foundation to eliminate hepatitis B in AAPIs as well as build the capacity of the community-based organizations in Ohio. She first started screening for hepatitis B in 2006 at the Asian Festival Health in Columbus, OH and successfully advocated for the Ohio Department of Health and the Columbus Public Health Department to provide free vaccination for those who tested negative for hepatitis B. Ms. Jiobu’s 30 years as a Laboratory Director at a large multi-hospital system provided her with valuable knowledge and experience to facilitate the creation of the Asian Free Clinic at the Ohio State University College of Medicine that provides treatment for the uninsured, and implemented a train-the-trainer program for Asian community leaders to reach more of the non-English speaking AAPI community.


Ms. Aurora Jose-Wong, Hep B Free – Las Vegas

Ms. Jose-Wong is the driving force behind the creation of Hep B Free-Las Vegas (HBFLV) and serves as the coalition’s coordinator to address the tremendous risk that hepatitis B poses to AAPIs. Launched in February 2011, HBFLV offers direct services through education and screening events; conducts research to learn the best approach to addressing hepatitis B in a resource constrained setting; and has developed a customized database program to track and evaluate the coalition’s screening results. What makes HBFLV unique is that Ms. Jose-Wong started it in a region of the country that doesn’t have the traditional public health infrastructure of other states and cities. She recognized a significant unmet need in Las Vegas, and used her network of political and professional contacts to build a successful coalition to address hepatitis B in the many high-risk communities living in the city. Additionally, Ms. Jose-Wong has taken a unique approach to adding technology to her community programming and data collection that is invaluable evidence needed to substantially change practices and policies around hepatitis B.


Dr. Kenneth Tai (left) on behalf of:
North East Medical Services (NEMS), San Francisco CA

NEMS has made tremendous contributions to improving testing and linkage to care to prevent hepatitis B and liver cancer in high-risk AAPI communities. As a private, nonprofit, federally-qualified community health center with over 40 years of experience providing health care services to the medically underserved, NEMS has grown from a small primary care clinic in San Francisco’s Chinatown to a network of nine clinics across the city, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties where more than 1.6 million AAPIs reside. In 2010, NEMS set a goal to improve hepatitis B screening and vaccination rates, and to reinforce linkages to care by focusing on several fronts: (1) eliminating access and cost barriers to prevention and care; (2) improving provider and staff awareness through clinical goal setting and continuous tracking/monitoring; (3) leveraging electronic health records to standardize and coordinate care; (4) increasing patient education and awareness; and (5) engaging local and national initiatives to promote hepatitis B awareness. From 2010 to 2012, NEMS increased their hepatitis B screening rates from 55% to 73%, including 98% (2666) of all women eligible for prenatal screening, and vaccination rates from 38% to 65% which demonstrates tremendous success with their program.

Hep B United Mini-Grantees

Earlier this year, three community-based organizations were chosen to receive funding to support local community hepatitis B campaigns to advance the HHS Action Plan on Viral Hepatitis 2012-2013 Priorities. They will be working to address the Hep B United’s strategic plan priority areas of improving testing and linkage-to-care to prevent hepatitis B-related liver disease and cancer.

Dallas FortWorth Hep B Free

Dallas Fort Worth Hep B Free coalition aims to combat chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and HBV-associated liver diseases in DFW’s AANHOPI communities. With DFW attracting 35% of the AANHOPI population in all of Texas, the necessity for HBV prevention and management is apparent. This project will provide education and free HBV screening followed by guidance and linkage to appropriate treatment and vaccination options.

Midwest Asian Health Association

The mission of the Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) is to reduce health disparities for AANHOPI communities in the Midwest region of Chicago, Illinois. MAHA’s Hep B United project aims to implement a free Asian Hep B screening and linkage-to-care program that will: 1) increase the identification of chronic hep B patients aware of their infection, 2) ensure that persons living with HBV are informed, appropriately counseled, and provided with linkage-to-care, treatment and preventive services to reduce liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington D.C.

The primary goal of the Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington DC, Inc. (HBI-DC) is to mobilize AANHOPI communities in the Washington DC metropolitan area to prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and its consequences. With support from Hep B United, HBI-DC will continue their valiant HBV efforts in AANHOPI communities by increasing awareness of HBV status, granting access to clinical care and management for all HBV infected persons, and providing vaccinations to susceptible individuals. HBI-DC works collaboratively with public and private partners to convene HBV screening events and follow-up for chronic HBV carriers’ linkage-to-care and vaccinations.

Justice Department Settles with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Over Discrimination Against People with Hepatitis B

The U.S. Justice Department has reached a settlement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey that resolves complaints that some applicants were unlawfully excluded because they have hepatitis B. Under the settlement, UMDNJ will adopt a disability rights policy and allow the applicants to enroll. The Hepatitis B Foundation is proud to have played a role in successfully advocating for these students. Read more.

Hep B United’s Comments to USPSTF on HCV Guidelines Grade

Read more.

Hep B United Selected CDC NPIN’s Featured Partner

Read more.

Hep B United’s Comments to USPSTF on Low HCV Guidelines Grade

Dec. 24 – Hep B United’s Comments to USPSTF on Low HCV Guidelines Grade

New Funding Opportunity for Hepatitis B

Dec. 10 – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) is offering funding for 1 year to Hep B United local community coalitions working on hepatitis B activities. Up to four awards will be given with an award amount of up to $10,000 each. 

The overall goal of this funding opportunity is to advance the Health and Human Services’ National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan (NVHAP) hepatitis B priority areas through supporting Hep B United’s local coalitions engaged in hepatitis B activities targeting AA & NHOPI communities. 

For more information, Download the RFP.

Hep B United’s Comments on USPSTF Hepatitis B Screening Research Plan

Read Comments.

One-Year Progress Report on HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan

Read Action Plan.

World Hepatitis Day is on July 28th!

Learn How To Get Involved Now!

National Cancer Institute’s Lifelines series

Listen to Dr. Moon Chen about The Link Between Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer: The Asian American Community as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Lifelines series.

Dr. Howard Koh’s “Dear Colleague” Letter Highlights

Read Dr. Howard Koh’s “Dear Colleague” Letter Highlights New Hepatitis B Resources

Hepatitis B and the Uninsured: Expanding Access to Quality Care

Read full report.

Hep B United Featured in Blog by Dr. Nadine Gracia, HHS Office of Minority Health

Read the informative blog post by J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health (Acting), Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States are disproportionately affected by viral hepatitis. Click here to read the blog post.


Below is information about hepatitis B screening events, educational workshops and other activities coordinated by Hep B United local campaigns in recognition of Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19.  Be sure to visit the CDC’s Hepatitis Testing Day webpage for more information about their new national initiative.

Please contact us if you would like to post your testing event on the Hep B United website.

Free Hepatitis B Screening at HOPE Clinic in May
Date/Time: Month of May
Location: 7001 Corporate Dr., Suite 120, Houston, TX 77036
Coordinated/Sponsored by: HOPE Clinic
Contact: www.hopechc.org or call (713) 773-0803

Hepatitis Testing Day Events in Hawaii
Date/Time: May 18, 2012 (times vary depending on site – see event flyer for more details)
Locations: Honolulu (Oahu); Hilo, Keaau, Kailua-Kona (Hawaii Island); Wailuku (Maui); Lihue (Kauai)
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Hep Free Hawaii, Hawaii State Department of Health
Contact: Thaddeus Pham, hepfreehawaii@gmail.com; www.hepfreehawaii.org

Taiwanese American Heritage Week Health Seminar
Date/Time: May 19, 2012, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Taiwanese American Community Center, 7833 Wilkerson Court, San Diego, CA 92111
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Taiwanese American Community Center, Asian Pacific Health Foundation, Hepatitis Free San Diego, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Contact: Grace Liu, gliu888@gmail.com

Hepatitis B Screening at Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration Health Fair
Date/Time: May 19, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Franklin Square, 6th and Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Hep B United Philadelphia, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs, Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, and Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation. Free Hepatitis B screenings offered by Hepatitis B Foundation and Hep B United
Contact: Daniel Chen, Daniel.chen@hepb.org; www.hepbunitedphiladelphia.org

23rd Annual May Parents’ Day Festival and Health Fair
Date/Time: May 19, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Flushing High School, 35-01 Union Street, Flushing, NY 11354
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Korean Community Services of Metropolitan NY
Contact: Heesoo Yeo, hyeo@kcsny.org or (212) 463-9685; www.kcsny.org

Hepatitis B Education for Somali Community
Date/Time: May 19, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Columbus, OH
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Asian American Community Services (member organization of the OAAHC), Ohio State University APAMSA
Contact Info: Karen Jiobu, kjiobu@gmail.com; www.aacsohio.org

National Hepatitis Testing Day Hepatitis B Screening and Workshop
Date/Time: May 19, 2012, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Flushing Mall, 13331 39th Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Liu Foundation
Partners: United Healthcare, Gilead Sciences, Community Service Coalition
Contact: Jonathan Tsao, Jonathan.Tsao@Cancer.org; www.nychepbc.org/calendar/

Hepatitis B Testing at Family Health Day 
Date and Time: May 19, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, 268 Canal Street, 1st floor, New York, NY 10013
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, HealthFirst, DOHMH, LabCorp
Contact info – Lin Liu, lliu@cbwchc.orgwww.cbwchc.org

Hep B Free Las Vegas Screening and Vaccination
Date/Time: May 20, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (see event flyer for more details)
Location: Health Day at Tzu Chi Buddhist LV Service Center, 2590 Lindell Rd (at West Sahara behind Orchid Garden Restaurant), Las Vegas, NV 89146
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Adult and children hepatitis B screening provided by Hep B Free Las Vegas and Clinical Pathology Laboratories, adult hep B vaccine for uninsured clients of Hep B Free Las Vegas provided by Southern Nevada Health District
Contact: RSVP to (702) 880-5552 (limited to the first 200)

Hepatitis B Screening during the Asian Festival at the Health & Wellness Pavilion
Date/Time: May 26-27, 2012, 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Columbus, OH
Coordinated/Sponsored by: Asian American Community Services (member organization of the OAAHC), Ohio State University APAMSA
Contact: Karen Jiobu, kjiobu@gmail.com; www.aacsohio.org



The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and the Hepatitis B Foundation, with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, launched the Hep B United national campaign aimed at bringing attention and action to ending hepatitis B, especially among high-risk Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations in the U.S.  Click here to read the press release.


Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), spearheaded the creation of the first HHS Action Plan for Viral Hepatitis that has made hepatitis B a national public health priority. Click here to download the new CDC poster that features Dr. Koh and his message urging Americans to get tested for this treatable disease.


Read the terrific blog post by Drs. Ronald Valdiserri (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Diseases, HHS) and John Ward (Director, Division of Viral Hepatitis, CDC) about May as Hepatitis Awareness Month and why the CDC initiated May 19, 2012 as National Hepatitis Testing Day. Click here to read the blog post.


On May 19, organizations across the country will host free hepatitis B screening and other events on the first-annual Hepatitis Testing Day.  Click here to learn about hepatitis B screening events, educational workshops and other activities being coordinated by Hep B United local campaigns.


To help improve hepatitis B-related outcomes during and after pregnancy, a workshop was convened in March 2010 by the Hepatitis B Foundation in which prominent primary care practitioners reviewed existing guidelines and designed an easy-to-use algorithm to aid obstetrical care providers, as well as other primary care providers, in evaluating and managing pregnant women who screen positive for hepatitis B.  Read more here.


 Pictures from HBU’s 2nd Annual Summit

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HBV Articles and Blogs

Increasing Hepatitis B Awareness and Testing Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; Ronald Valdiserri

African Immigrants at Increased Risk for Hepatitis B; Susannah Amiteye

Hepatitis is Still the Silent Killer | Commentary; Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, Reps. Michael M. Honda, Hank Johnson, and Bill Cassidy

Breaking the Silence of Viral HepatitisRonald Valdiserri & Howard Koh (HBU is noted in this article found in the Annals of Internal Medicine!)

Cambodian Orphan Finds New Life in MinnesotaMatthew Stolle

View past articles and blogs